Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Moving Adventure

by Stephanie Black

Life has been crazy lately. I finished my new manuscript and submitted it (woohoo!) school started for four of my five kids, and we moved. We’re sort of almost settled in our new house, but there is still more unpacking to come. I predict that we will never be able to fit our car in the garage. Seriously. And what is in all those boxes?

Moving is always way up there on the stress-o-meter, and we’ve done it a lot. The longest we’ve been in any one house is four years. I did the math, and we’ve moved, on average, every 1.46 years. The shortest move was from apartment to apartment in the same complex (yes, that still counts as moving—if you have to haul everything from one place to another, it’s a move, even if it’s just across six feet of breezeway!). The longest move involved crossing the Atlantic. Our most recent move was a massive one, stuff-wise (strangely, we seem to have more stuff than we did when we were changing apartments in our BYU days) but a mini one, distance-wise—about half a mile. We’ve been renting for the four years we’ve lived in northern California, due to the completely freaky Twilight-Zone-esque cost of housing. We spent a lot of time playing the “Do we stay or do we go?” game, endlessly trying to figure out our plans. Did we stay and try to make a go of it here, or did we pack it up and go somewhere else, which would mean our kids (my oldest is now a senior in high school) would have to start over in a new location? Urgh. But prices have come down a bit, and this summer we finally took the plunge and bought a house. It’s in the same neighborhood as our ex-rental house, which we’re very happy about. Our kids don’t have to change schools—hooray!—and we don’t have to change wards. The house needs work, and we have a hundred-item to-do list that should keep us busy until the Millennium and beyond, but it’s ours, and we’re delighted to own our own place again.

We’re hoping to break our record and stay here more than four years. Wish us luck. We’re planning to stay here a good long while, but who knows what will happen? I wouldn’t have predicted that we’d end up selling our first house after three and a half years and moving across the country, but my husband got bitten by the grad school bug, and he got accepted to a graduate program that was such a great opportunity that no way would I have wanted him to miss it. With our second home, we left to go overseas for my husband’s job. I am completely non-adventurous and wasn’t excited to go, but it was such a fantastic opportunity that I knew I’d regret it if we didn’t do it, and truly, I’m very grateful we had that chance.

But now I am so ready to put down roots, and despite our track record, I think we’ve got a good chance of staying put for a couple of decades or more. With older kids, moving is a lot harder than it used to be. A toddler doesn’t care where you live. For a kindergartener, moving is more an adventure than anything. For a highschooler—not so fun. So I think we're safe in getting rid of those moving boxes . . . maybe.


13 Comments:

At 9/10/2008 1:17 PM, Blogger Melanie J said...

We own a two bedroom condo and we have two boys. I keep thinking with the next kid we'll probably have to buy a bigger house. But then I think about packing and moving and unnpacking. And then I think that what we need is cots. I bet with cots, we could fit four kids in that room just fine...

 
At 9/10/2008 1:29 PM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Like you, I've moved across the country and across the street. Frankly, across the country is easier because you're motivated to get rid of more stuff! (And where DOES all that stuff come from?!) Good luck with it all.

I'm so glad the computer's unpacked -- and the manuscript in. I haven't read a better suspense novel than Fool Me Twice -- unless it's your soon-to-be-accepted one! Be sure to let us know when you have the release date!

 
At 9/10/2008 2:06 PM, Blogger Worldbuilder Robin said...

Just remember: the longer that stuff sits in boxes, the more opportunity it has to breed and multiply...

Our record between moves is four years (and counting!), too. But my daughter became a teenager at the current house, so moving with a teen hasn't come up yet.

And you can always get more moving boxes at Wal-Mart, should the need arise...

 
At 9/10/2008 3:57 PM, Blogger Melanie Goldmund said...

I'm looking forward to that new book already. :D

 
At 9/10/2008 4:54 PM, Blogger Just_Me said...

And here I thought you were military!

In over-six-not-quite-seven years of marriage we've lived in 5 states and we're looking at adding number 6 before our next anniversary.

And we just got to this house in June!

I'm debating whether or not to unpack...

 
At 9/10/2008 5:01 PM, Blogger Weston Elliott said...

Worldbuilder Robin said...
Just remember: the longer that stuff sits in boxes, the more opportunity it has to breed and multiply...


Boy, you got that right!

I'm a thirty-something and I've moved 38 times. I am the Packing Queen. You have all my sympathy - as does anyone else looking at a move. Hang in there!

 
At 9/11/2008 12:24 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thanks for the comments and the support. And I'm definitely thinking that stuff left in boxes multiplies. That explains a lot!

 
At 9/11/2008 2:22 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

When we were planning to move this past spring, we thought we'd only live in the new house for a couple of years. After the hassle of moving, though, we revised: maybe we should stay a little longer.

I have a friend who got recruited by Microsoft and they took care of the moving - hired a company that came in and boxed and wrapped everything up and moved it all. (My friend didn't have to pack a single box.) I don't know how much that service would cost, but I'm beginning to think it might be worth it.

Stephanie: Wishing you lots of goodwill on your latest. =)

 
At 9/11/2008 3:35 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

We've had a company pay for movers a few times, and it is nice having someone else do the packing and hauling--but there's still enough work left to classify moving as a giant pain in the neck. This time, we moved a lot of stuff on our own and with the help of a friend's pickup truck, then had movers come to move most of the big stuff (like the piano) and any boxes that were left.

Many thanks to you and Kerry for your help on the manuscript! Your feedback was extremely helpful.

 
At 9/12/2008 11:12 PM, Blogger Janet Burningham said...

We lived in Northern California (same area as you) from 1997-2001, during the dot com crazy daze! So buying a house was an impossibility. Prices just kept going higher. Eventually we gave up, packed up, and moved to Utah. My oldest was only nine then. We've been in our current home for 5 years! A record for us too. And we plan to stay as long as we can, cause like you said, it's much harder to move a teenager established in high school. Anyway,good luck in your new home and congratulations on being able to buy one where you live!

 
At 9/13/2008 2:25 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thanks, Janet! It's nice to finally feel like we're "permanent" here, after so much time spent wondering what we were going to do.

 
At 9/15/2008 4:06 AM, Blogger G-money said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9/15/2008 5:21 AM, Blogger G-money said...

When I was young we had to pack everything on our backs and move barefoot to our new house because we didn't have any shoes! Of course it was always snowing too... :)

 

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